Son La Guide

Son La is located to the northwest of Vietnam with high mountain ranges and with two plateaus. The Moc Chau Plateau has average altitude of over 1,000m and the Na San Plateau has the average altitude of 800m above sea level.

 There are two main seasons in Son La: dry season from October through April during which time it is cold from late October through February and pleasant in March and hot in April; and rainy from May through September of which it is hot from May through August and pleasant in September.

Thai villages in Son La Province
Thai villages in Son La Province

Son La is home to several ethnic groups which include: Thai, Muong, Hmong, Xinh Mun, La Ha, Khang, Kinh, Hoa, Tay, Lao.

Son La for once was only a stopover for the adventure travelers taking trips in the Northwest of Vietnam. It has changed now that Son La is a favorite tourist destinations for the young and the old alike. Below is a list of the most popular tourist attractions in Son La Vietnam.

1/ Moc Chau Plateau
The plateau has cool climate all year round, famed for green tea plantations, scenic organic vegetable farms, plum and peach forests,… Moc Chau is a favorite destination for young travelers from Hanoi at weekend and during the flower season (December – February). Moc Chau is 200km west of Hanoi. We have a separate travel guide to Moc Chau for those who would like to know more.

2/ The Pha Luong Mountain
The mountain of 2,000m above sea level is 40km south of Moc Chau Town. The mountain straddles the border between Vietnam and Laos to the west of Moc Chau. A hike to the summit from the mountain base may take from 3-4 hours through thick forest. But to get to the mountain base from the main road, we have to pass a horrendous 12km path which can not be traveled on when it rains. The views from the summit are jaw-dropping!

3/ Na San Plateau
Na San was the site of a major battle in 1953 between the Viet Minh and the French troops. The site is particularly of interest to historians and war veterans who would like to learn about this battle. Na San is 270km northwest of Hanoi via Route 6.

4/ Ta Xua (Bac Yen District)
Ta Xua, a commune of Bac Yen District of Son La, is perched on high altitude of over 1,000m above sea level. Ta Xua has cool temperatures most of the year and especially cold in the winter. There are sublime mountain peaks and breathtaking valleys which are filled up with white clouds in the winter and this makes the site extremely appealing to young tourists from Hanoi. Ta Xua is 200m northwest of Hanoi via Route 32 from Hanoi to Tan Son (Phu Tho Province) and Route 37 from Tan Son to Bac Yen.

5/ Ngoc Chien (Muong La District)
Ngoc Chien Commune of Muong La District is near Mu Cang Chai District of Yen Bai. Ngoc Chien has cool temperatures all year round and is inhabited by the Black Thai. There are several hot-springs in the village and many Thai families offer homestay service to the visitors. Muong La is 40km northeast of Son La City and 330km from Hanoi via Route 6.

6/ Son La City, Son La Prison Museum, Mong Village Hot-spring
Son La City is 300km northwest of Hanoi via Route 6. The city has nice Black Thai villages on the outskirt with several geysers. Inside the city, there is former prison turned into a museum. Visiting the museum, you’ll learn a bit of the history of Vietnam during the French rule.

AdventureGreen, a Vietnam adventure tour company and tour operator, offers a wide range of adventure tours, trekking tours, and bike tours to Son La and in Vietnam.